About a Boot (a Bata Boot)

24 February 2015 | East Africa Travel |

I am shopper. Not a Julia Roberts/Pretty Woman with big shopping bags, big credit card and big hair kind of shopper, but rather a determined one – if I am on the hunt for something, I tend to take my time, track it down and boom, buy it.

However, over the past year, I have found myself tearing into Nairobi, tearing to the Mara, back to Nairobi and out again, with not much time for retail therapy… hmmm… perhaps I should speak to my bosses about this? Anyway, the point is, on each Nairobi visit, while stuck in that (endless) Nairobi traffic I find myself hunting down that four letter red sign, which I have seen since my childhood travelling throughout Africa.

Bata - Traffic

One simply must look the part when clambering around a building site and feeling on top of the world because of those endless views below, no? And to look the part in Kenya, one simply must own a pair of Bata Safari Boots…

So what makes the Bata Safari Boot so typically African? Is it because it hails from the wild continent? Nope, Bata was born in the snowy Czech Republic. Is it because Bata is the newest fashion label on the block? Nope, it’s been around since 1894 – a grand old dame. Is it because Bata is a small mom-and-pop-shop? Nope, the Bata family employs over 50,000 people in 70 countries. Is it because Bata is new to Kenya? Nope, Bata arrived on Kenyan shores in 1939, and has even set up a nursery school in Limuru where children of the workers at the Bata plant attend for free…

Bata - Welcome

So what is it?

It is, as Mwenda wa Muchemi a writer at Kenya’s Business Day, so eloquently states: “Whether dominating the view on an overhang billboard or perched patiently on a shelf waiting for a suitor, Bata’s Safari Boot is an undisputed Kenyan icon. Wherever it travels, it easily conjures up the image of Kenya”. And we all know that Kenya is the birthplace of the safari – a truly African experience of endless skies and magnificent animals; where you suddenly realize that Africa has silently crept under your skin… She sure did with me.

Bata - Giraffe

So as I sit here, in the south, planning my next trip to Nairobi, I will be ready to dive out of the traffic and spend a little time on Kenyatta Street or Kimathu Street or Mama Ngina Street (or in any of the other 37 Bata stores in town) because I just know there is a pair of duck-egg blue Bata Safari Boots with my name on them …


FILED UNDER: East Africa Travel

AUTHOR: Kate Fitzgerald Boyd

Kate was born in a chafing dish – well almost. The date she was due to arrive was perilously close to Christmas and her mother wasn’t taking any chances so out she came just in time for a decent Christmas dinner to be served to the guests at the hotel of her childhood. Back-of-house babies, they call them. And she has never looked back and now logs more air miles than she knows what to do with sharing the Angama Mara story far and wide.

Sally Nielsen
February 24, 2015

Ah Katie – I love your brilliant Bata boot story, and look forward to seeing you wearing them.

Brandy Taylor
February 24, 2015

Now I need some!

sandra laurence
February 25, 2015

Lovely writing, Katie! Strength to your blue boots…

Bata Kenya
February 26, 2015

Thank you, thank you! We are honoured, Kate. And the safari collection is getting bigger and better. Next time you come around, check out the new, broader collection. And we do deliver worldwide!

Thanks again…we love you!

Jenny Boyd
March 10, 2015

Duck-egg blue Boots!!! Katie I am jealous! None in Botswana, will have to do a trip to Kenya – although I see they deliver worldwide!

Loving all the stories, well done!

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